Thursday, July 30, 2009

Bowling Trophy Blooper

I saw this clip on one of those Best Damn Sports shows last night. It's very funny, but the timing is so dead-on, it's hard to tell if it's legit.

First, we have the announcer (Chris Schenkel) repeatedly hectoring the guy to say "Say goodbye". Then we have a piece of crap trophy, the "Larry Fine" double-take from the guys on the left when it breaks, and the practiced look of comic bemusement from the bowler as the announcer reads the credits.

It all looks like something you might see on a "Super Dave Osborne" special or something.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Perhaps you've noticed from previous postings, that I'm fascinated by lookalikes.

I just found a site that's entirely devoted to the topic - Most are good, some are great. For example, did you know that the famous celebrities in the above photo are actually two entirely different people?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Cleveland Spiders

I was kind of hoping baseball's woeful Washington Nationals would go into a second-half depressive funk, and break the major-league record for most losses by a team. (Sadly, it appears as though they have some fight left in them, and will likely finish the season as merely the worst team in baseball this year).

Who was the worst team of all-time, you ask? Surely it was the '62 New York Mets (40-120), right? Wrong! Well, wrong if you count the 19th Century (few people do).

The worst team was the '99 (as in 1899) Cleveland Spiders, who went 20-134. Even more pathetic, they were 11-101 on the road. How could they have played 112 road games in a 154-game season? Easy - they were so bad, visiting teams refused to travel to Cleveland to play them! They finished a whopping 84 games out of first place.

You can read about why they were so bad here.

And while we're at it - here's my nominee for worst professional team name of all-time.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Gordon Waller

Am told Gordon Waller (of Peter and Gordon) passed away on July 17.

Not much to say about Gordon. The duo was one of my favorite acts from the British Invasion - but it was almost impossible to discern any difference in talent or contribution between the two; they both sang close harmonies and played guitar. (I guess Peter gets a slight nod because his sister's boyfriend wrote most of the duo's hit songs).

Well, here's one he didn't write.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Raymond J. Johnson, Jr.

Here's something - Raymond J. Johnson, Jr. (aka comic Bill Saluga) has his own YouTube channel.

So far, just the one video. It contains what you might expect - the quintessential Raymond J. Johnson Jr routine, which always begins with someone calling him "Johnson".

The bit was reasonably popular in the '70s and '80s... culminating in a novelty record called Dancin' Johnson in 1979. I seem to remember Saluga doing the song on The Merv Griffin Show at the time - in front of a mostly bemused audience filled with Hollywood tourists.

And don't forget - Johnson's schtick was referenced in Bob Dylan's "Gotta Serve Somebody".

2000 AD

The Golem's current favorite comic is 2000 AD - an exciting title from Britain - which has published 1600-something issues weekly (more or less) since 1977. It's the comic that gave the world Judge Dredd.

It has been difficult for me to find in the states. I was able to pick up a few while visiting Glasgow in 2005 - and was impressed with the sophisticated storytelling and artwork - kind of like Heavy Metal (the magazine) in it's day, only much more fun.

Am happy to report you can now download the comics (in PDF format) from a website called (It's a good deal too - cheaper than the imported issues would sell for in comic shops).

I'm going to especially recommend 2000 AD Origins - a free download which reprints the first appearances of comic favorites Judge Dredd, Strontium Dog, Halo Jones and many others.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Debt Clock

One of the highlights of any trip to the Big Apple is seeing the big "National Debt Clock" clicking away. It's one of life's gentle little reminders that we are all doomed to a life of financial chaos.

A friend of mine sent me this - an internet version of the debt clock. It also has a real-time display for such "stick your head in an oven" numbers as bailout money, the budget deficit, and medicare fraud.

Makes you want to jump off the Empire State Building.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


The Golem is on vacation from reality this week.
There may be posts - but with less frequency.

Update: To compensate for my untimely absence this week - please accept the above autographed picture (click to enlarge). It is suitable for framing or wrapping fish.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Paul Shaffer as Ed Sullivan

Here's Paul Shaffer's Ed Sullivan impression.

This is an abbreviated version of the routine he did on the Paul McCartney edition of Late Show last week.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Polaris Nuclear Sub

Kids learn to ignore the wild claims of boastful comic-book ads. My particular favorite was always "Free - One Million Dollars Cash!"

Another great one was the Polaris Nuclear Sub ("fires rockets and torpedoes!"). Not sure how they got away with calling something made of test fibreboard - "nuclear", but there you have it. Can you imagine if the North Koreans ever got a hold of Fantastic Four #48? At $6.98, they could have ordered a fleet of these dangerous Polaris subs with which to bedevil the Western World.

And now, here's what the sub really looked like - courtesy the Secret Fun Blog.

Digi Comp I

Here we have the comic book ad (courtesy Silver Surfer #3, 1968) for Digi Comp I - "The Electronic Computer Brain". Since this is a comic-book ad, we've come to expect the product will not be worth the $4.99 asking price... but let's explore further, shall we?

According to the ad it "tells fortunes" (Yes, I see buyer's remorse in your future!)

"Think of how amazed all your friends will be when you solve problems of missile countdown, satellite re-entry and missile checkout..." (That's two missiles in one sentence - should this thing be for sale to the general public?!)

In case you're wondering what the Digi Comp I really looked like, here it is.

Friday, July 17, 2009

The New Show - "The Frightened Family"

Here's a clip I never thought I'd see again - it's the "Frightened Family" sketch from The New Show.

What was The New Show? Well it was a 1984 prime-time comedy/variety series produced by Lorne Michaels (his first television series since having left SNL four years earlier), and featuring original actors and writers from SCTV and Saturday Night Live.

Sound great? It wasn't. For some reason, The New Show was a flop. If I'm not mistaken, during the opening sketch of the second episode, guest-star John Candy apologized for the quality of the first.

The show was quickly canceled, and just as quickly forgotten. Lorne Michaels went back to SNL within a year or so, and never looked back.

Still, I fondly remember a few of the more inspired sketches. "The Frightened Family" is one of them. That's John Candy, Laraine Newman, Dave Thomas, Valri Bromfield, and Bucky Henry in the sketch. Thomas and Henry were the permanent hosts of the show.

The World's Ugliest Animals

Here it is - the post you hoped to never see! The World's Ugliest Animals (featuring the fish that looks exactly like the comic strip character Ziggy!)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Beatles on Ed Sullivan

Believe it or not, I've never seen the complete clip of the Beatles' first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964.

I was moved to watch this after seeing Paul Shaffer's imitation of Sullivan during last night's Late Show with David Letterman (with special guest Paul McCartney).

A few things struck me while watching the clip:
1) You might think the band was called Paul McCartney and his Beatles the way the Sullivan crew shot them.
2) Did I hear Ed correctly? The Beatles dedicated their first set to Johnny Carson?
3) Check out the two over-excited Laverne and Shirley types (above; at around 4:17 in the clip). Their enthusiasm almost violates CBS' standards of decency.

Part 2 can be viewed here.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Michael Jackson - The Pepsi Incident

Here's a behind-the-scenes clip of Michael Jackson being set on fire during the filming of a Pepsi commercial in 1984.

Whoever edited the clip added creepy music for effect.

Amazingly, Jacko is really looking like Johnny Blaze here for a good number of seconds before crew members extinguish the flames.

The clip is courtesy US Weekly, but I'm sending you to Britain's Sun newspaper - so you can also check out the Ghost of Jacko and the naked chicks on Page 3.

Myron Floren - "Disco Polka"

Somewhere around 1977-78, "disco" music became quite popular. About three weeks later it stopped being popular.

For many years after, the music industry considered it hip and HIL-arious to release "disco" versions of staid old institutions like the Chipmunks and Myron Floren, slap on the title "Disco-whatever" and sell it to whatever nyudniks were crazy enough to buy it.

Floren was the lead accordionist of The Lawrence Welk Show during its entire 30+ year run. Hip, he wasn't - but as far as accordion players go, he definitely was one.

Today's clip
is of Myron playing one of those songs accordion players always do - with somewhat of a disco pulse piped-in underneath. One wonders if he was even needed at the recording sessions.

Thanks for the use of the MP3.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Devo - "Secret Agent Man"

As weird as Devo always seemed to be, before they signed with Warner Records they were a lot weirder.

Here is their original cover of "Secret Agent Man". You will note that they are all wearing creepy "serial killer" masks, and the guy in the baby mask (aka "Booji Boy") playing keyboards is Mark Mothersbaugh.

The arrangement is like the soundtrack to a nightmare.

I believe that's Jim Mothersbaugh on drums. By the time the band went (relatively) mainstream, he was replaced by Alan Myers. (And Bob Casale - aka Bob 2 - had yet to join).

The intro is from a 1984 public access video show.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Ghostbusters Car

The Ghostbusters car (Ectomobile?) is for sale on eBay. The current bid is around $40,000, so act quickly.

Franken and Davis

Here's Sen. Al Franken (D-Min) back in his hippie-dippy pre-SNL days (as half of the comedy team of Franken and Davis) in the film Tunnelvision.

Back in the '70s, Hollywood used to make movies like Tunnelvision - R-rated sketch comedies with lots of drug humor. These films look kind of silly in retrospect, as this lame sketch will attest.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Things That Aren't Funny Anymore

I've about had it with this idiot.

Obama's Buttocks-gate

The world is still reeling at the above photo which purportedly shows President Obama channeling JFK and Bill Clinton; acting like a red-blooded male and leering at a world-class set of Brazilian buttocks at the G8 in Italy.

Luckily, ABC is here to put our minds at rest (and show us what that girl looks like from the front).

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Campbell Brown

Jackson... Sharpton... whatever.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Riddlers

Here is an unsold game show pilot from 1977 called The Riddlers.

What a lineup of celebrity guests! - Joanne Worley, Joyce Bulifant, a young Michael McKean, the late Debralee "Hotsy Totsy" Scott, and the even later Robert Urich.

But you'll NEVER believe who the host was...

Monday, July 6, 2009

Herman's Hermits

Here's a VCR alert (or DVR alert - whatever you use these days to record television): TCM is airing two films starring the band Herman's Hermits on Thursday morning.

"Hold On" (1966) airs at 9:15 a.m., and "Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter" (1968) follows at 10:45 a.m (all times EDT).

The Hermits, by the way, were a pretty good British Invasion band. They were probably even more popular in America, where they had eleven Top Ten singles (including two "number ones" - "Mrs. Brown..." and "I'm Henry the VIII, I Am" - which were recorded specifically for the U.S. market).

They recorded a number of good serious (non-novelty) pop songs, including "I'm Into Something Good" (written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King), "No Milk Today" and "It's Nice To Be Out in the Morning" (both by Graham Gouldman).

Here's the trailer for "Hold On".

Jefferson Airplane

Here's another interesting song I heard on The Underground Garage satellite radio channel: Jefferson Airplane's "D.C.B.A-25".

Am told the song - which I think you'll agree is groovy, man - is named after the four chords which appear throughout. (Which means I could probably play it on the guitar if it weren't for the "B"). And the "25" is a reference to LSD-25, which I am told was quite popular among hippies and freaks, man.

You can listen for yourself via SkreemR (embedded below... or click here if your browser is Flash-challenged).
Jefferson Airplane - D.C.B.A.
Found at

Michael Jackson "They Saved Jacko's Brain" (2009)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Mike Myers' Brother

Here's something mildly interesting - an interview with Mike Myers' lookalike brother. At first, I thought it was Mike doing one of his hilarious characters, but no such luck.

Paul Myers has written a book about musician Long John Baldry - who, coincidentally, appears in the Beatles/Shakespeare video we posted earlier today.

The Beatles perform Shakespeare

From the 1964 British TV special Around The Beatles - here are the boys performing a scene from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. (Note: the clip contains one of those annoying annotations that has become the bane of YouTube... so feel free to switch it off before playing.)

Around the Beatles
featured the band, and a handful of other acts from that era (Cilla Black and P.J. Proby) "miming" (lip-synching) to their latest hits. The Shakespeare skit appears to be the highlight.

I believe that's Trevor Peacock (Jim Trott from Vicar of Dibley - and the author of the hit song "Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter") at the beginning.

And if you haven't figured it out, this clip was colorized.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Independence Day

With all the "4th of July" parties, barbecues, frightening household pets with fireworks and the like... let's not forget the true meaning of Independence Day.

Ron Weasley...

...swine flu.

50 Movies for 50 States

Rotten Tomatoes celebrates Independence Day with 50 Movies for 50 States - a look at the most noteworthy movies set in each of America's states.

Now, did you know there was a major movie set in Delaware?

Thursday, July 2, 2009


I heard this today on Underground Garage and naturally assumed it was a modern "retro" act using the name of famous supermodel Twiggy.

Imagine my surprise when the DJ announced that the singer WAS indeed famous supermodel Twiggy - back when she was attempting to launch a singing career in the swinging '60s.

I think if somebody could rescue her vocals from underneath that ridiculous instrumental, we might be on to something.

The song is called "When I Think Of You". I couldn't figure out how to embed it, and sadly there are no YouTubes yet. So check it out at the above link, and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wall of Shemp

Here we have The Wall of Shemp - an entire site dedicated to my favorite Stooge - Shemp Howard.

Without doubt, the extensive WAV collection ("The Soothing Sounds of Shemp") is worth the visit alone!

Sports Reporter Fail

The joys of live television - where things can spiral out of control so quickly you sometimes don't know what hit you.

The look on the guy's face at the end is priceless.